[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diabetic cardiomyopathy is defined as ventricular dysfunction initiated by alterations in cardiac energy substrates in the absence of coronary artery disease and hypertension. In addition to the demonstrated burden of cardiovascular events associated with diabetes, diabetic cardiomyopathy partly explains why diabetic patients are subject to a greater risk of heart failure and a worse outcome after myocardial ischemia. The raising prevalence and accumulating costs of cardiovascular disease in diabetic patients underscore the deficiencies of tertiary prevention and call for a shift in medical treatment. It is becoming increasingly clearer that the effective prevention and treatment of diabetic cardiomyopathy require measures to regulate the metabolic derangement occurring in the heart rather than merely restoring suitable systemic parameters. Recent research has provided deeper insight into the metabolic etiology of diabetic cardiomyopathy and numerous heart-specific targets that may substitute or reinforce current strategies. From both experimental and translational perspectives, in this review we first discuss the progress made with conventional therapies, and then focus on the need for prospective metabolic targets that may avert myocardial vulnerability and functional decline in next-generation diabetic care.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Patients with primary membranous nephropathy (MN) and persistent nephrotic syndrome have a high risk of progression to end-stage renal disease. The Ponticelli protocol (steroids with alkylating agents) is the most effective immunosuppressive therapy for this condition, but it has severe adverse effects. Tacrolimus and rituximab have demonstrated efficacy for remission of nephrotic syndrome in MN with a safer profile. However, the published evidence is largely based on small or short-term observational studies, historical cohorts, comparisons with conservative therapy or clinical trials without appropriate control groups, and there is no head-to-head comparison with the Ponticelli protocol.
The STARMEN randomized clinical trial will compare the efficacy of sequential tacrolimus-rituximab therapy with a modified Ponticelli protocol (steroids plus cyclophosphamide). The trial will also evaluate the role of antibodies against the M-type phospholipase A2 receptor (anti-PLA2R) and other antibodies as markers of response to treatment and long-term prognosis.
The trial has already started with 23 patients having been enrolled as of 1 April 2015, an estimated 21.7% of the estimated sample.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic kidney disease (CKD)-mineral and bone disorder (MBD) is characterized by increased circulating levels of parathormone (PTH) and fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23), bone disease, and vascular calcification, and is associated with adverse outcomes. We studied the prevalence of mineral metabolism disorders, and the potential relationship between decreased estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and CKD-MBD in coronary artery disease patients in a cross-sectional study of 704 outpatients 7.5 ± 3.0 months after an acute coronary syndrome. The mean eGFR (CKD Epidemiology Collaboration formula) was 75.8 ± 19.1 ml/min/1.73 m(2). Our patients showed lower calcidiol plasma levels than a healthy cohort from the same geographical area. In the case of men, this finding was present despite similar creatinine levels in both groups and older age of the healthy subjects. Most patients (75.6 %) had an eGFR below 90 ml/min/1.73 m(2) (eGFR categories G2-G5), with 55.3 % of patients exhibiting values of 60-89 ml/min/1.73 m(2) (G2). PTH (r = -0.3329, p < 0.0001) and FGF23 (r = -0.3641, p < 0.0001) levels inversely correlated with eGFR, whereas calcidiol levels and serum phosphate levels did not. Overall, PTH levels were above normal in 34.9 % of patients. This proportion increased from 19.4 % in G1 category patients, to 33.7 % in G2 category patients and 56.6 % in G3-G5 category patients (p < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, eGFR and calcidiol levels were the main independent determinants of serum PTH. The mean FGF23 levels were 69.9 (54.6-96.2) relative units (RU)/ml, and 33.2 % of patients had FGF23 levels above 85.5 RU/ml (18.4 % in G1 category patients, 30.0 % in G2 category patients, and 59.2 % in G3-G5 category patients; p < 0.001). In multivariate analysis, eGFR was the main predictor of FGF23 levels. Increased phosphate levels were present in 0.7 % of the whole sample: 0 % in G1 category patients, 0.3 % in G2 category patients, and 2.8 % in G3-G5 category patients (p = 0.011). Almost 90 % of patients had calcidiol insufficiency without significant differences among the different degrees of eGFR. In conclusion, in patients with coronary artery disease there is a large prevalence of increased FGF23 and PTH levels. These findings have an independent relationship with decreased eGFR, and are evident at an eGFR of 60-89 ml/min/1.73 m(2). Then, mild decreases in eGFR must be taken in consideration by the clinician because they are associated with progressive abnormalities of mineral metabolism.
Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism 08/2015; DOI:10.1007/s00774-015-0706-y · 2.46 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Diabetic kidney disease is the most frequent cause of end-stage renal disease. This implies failure of current therapeutic approaches based on renin-angiotensin system (RAS) blockade. Recent phase 3 clinical trials of paricalcitol in early diabetic kidney disease and bardoxolone methyl in advanced diabetic kidney disease failed to meet the primary endpoint or terminated on safety concerns, respectively. However, various novel strategies are undergoing phase 2 and 3 randomized controlled trials targeting inflammation, fibrosis and signaling pathways. Among agents currently undergoing trials that may modify the clinical practice on top of RAS blockade in a 5-year horizon, anti-inflammatory agents currently hold the most promise while anti-fibrotic agents have so far disappointed. Pentoxifylline, an anti-inflammatory agent already in clinical use, was recently reported to delay estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) loss in chronic kidney disease (CKD) stage 3-4 diabetic kidney disease when associated with RAS blockade and promising phase 2 data are available for the pentoxifylline derivative CTP-499. Among agents targeting chemokines or chemokine receptors, the oral small molecule C-C chemokine receptor type 2 (CCR2) inhibitor CCX140 decreased albuminuria and eGFR loss in phase 2 trials. A dose-finding trial of the anti-IL-1β antibody gevokizumab in diabetic kidney disease will start in 2015. However, clinical development is most advanced for the endothelin receptor A blocker atrasentan, which is undergoing a phase 3 trial with a primary outcome of preserving eGFR. The potential for success of these approaches and other pipeline agents is discussed in detail.
Journal of Clinical Medicine 08/2015; 4(6):1325-47. DOI:10.3390/jcm4061325
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic kidney disease is characterized by Vitamin D deficiency and activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system. Increasing data show that vitamin D receptor agonists (VDRAs) exert beneficial effects in renal disease and possess anti-inflammatory properties, but the underlying mechanism remains unknown. Emerging evidence suggests that “a disintegrin and metalloproteinase” (ADAM)/epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signalling axis contributes to renal damage. Aldosterone induces EGFR transactivation regulating several processes including cell proliferation and fibrosis. However, data on tubular epithelial cells is scarce. We have found that, in cultured tubular epithelial cells, aldosterone induced EGFR transactivation via TGF-α/ADAM17. Blockade of the TGF-α/ADAM17/EGFR pathway inhibited aldosterone-induced proinflammatory gene upregulation. Moreover, among the potential downstream mechanisms, we found that TGF-α/ADAM17/EGFR inhibition blocked ERK and STAT-1 activation in response to aldosterone. Next, we investigated the involvement of TGF-α/ADAM17/EGFR axis in VDRA anti-inflammatory effects. Preincubation with the VDRA paricalcitol inhibited aldosterone-induced EGFR transactivation, TGF-α/ADAM-17 gene upregulation, and downstream mechanisms, including proinflammatory factors overexpression. In conclusion, our data suggest that the anti-inflammatory actions of paricalcitol in tubular cells could depend on the inhibition of TGF-α/ADAM17/EGFR pathway in response to aldosterone, showing an important mechanism of VDRAs action.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
Several papers have reported elevated plasma levels of natriuretic peptides in patients with a previous diagnosis of cancer. We have explored whether N-terminal pro-brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) plasma levels predict a future diagnosis of cancer in patients with coronary artery disease (CAD).
We studied 699 patients with CAD free of cancer. At baseline, NT-proBNP, galectin-3, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, soluble tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis, high-sensitivity C-reactive protein, and high-sensitivity cardiac troponin I plasma levels were assessed. The primary outcome was new cancer diagnosis. The secondary outcome was cancer diagnosis, heart failure requiring hospitalization, or death.
After 2.15±0.98 years of follow-up, 24 patients developed cancer. They were older (68.5 [61.5, 75.8] vs 60.0 [52.0, 72.0] years; p=0.011), had higher NT-proBNP (302.0 [134.8, 919.8] vs 165.5 [87.4, 407.5] pg/ml; p=0.040) and high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (3.27 [1.33, 5.94] vs 1.92 [0.83, 4.00] mg/L; p=0.030), and lower triglyceride (92.5 [70.5, 132.8] vs 112.0 [82.0, 157.0] mg/dl; p=0.044) plasma levels than those without cancer. NT-proBNP (Hazard Ratio [HR]=1.030; 95% Confidence Interval [CI]=1.008-1.053; p=0.007) and triglyceride levels (HR=0.987; 95%CI=0.975-0.998; p=0.024) were independent predictors of a new cancer diagnosis (multivariate Cox regression analysis). When patients in whom the suspicion of cancer appeared in the first one-hundred days after blood extraction were excluded, NT-proBNP was the only predictor of cancer (HR=1.061; 95%CI=1.034-1.088; p<0.001). NT-proBNP was an independent predictor of cancer, heart failure, or death (HR=1.038; 95%CI=1.023-1.052; p<0.001) along with age, and use of insulin and acenocumarol.
NT-proBNP is an independent predictor of malignancies in patients with CAD. New studies in large populations are needed to confirm these findings.
PLoS ONE 06/2015; 10(6):e0126741. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0126741 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Haematuria has been traditionally considered as a benign hallmark of some glomerular diseases; however new studies show that haematuria may decrease renal function.
To determine the influence of haematuria on the rate of chronic kidney disease (CKD) progression in 71 proteinuric patients with advanced CKD (baseline eGFR <30 mL/min) during 12 months of follow-up.
The mean rate of decline in eGFR was higher in patients with both haematuria and proteinuria (haemoproteinuria, HP, n=31) than in patients with proteinuria alone (P patients, n=40) (-3.8±8.9 vs 0.9±9.5 mL/min/1.73m2/year, p<0.05, respectively). The deleterious effect of haematuria on rate of decline in eGFR was observed in patients <65 years (-6.8±9.9 (HP) vs. 0.1±11.7 (P) mL/min/1.73m2/year, p<0.05), but not in patients >65 years (-1.2±6.8 (HP) vs. 1.5±7.7 (P) mL/min/1.73m2/year). Furthermore, the harmful effect of haematuria on eGFR slope was found patients with proteinuria >0.5 g/24 h (-5.8±6.4 (HP) vs. -1.37± 7.9 (P) mL/min/1.73m2/year, p<0.05), whereas no significant differences were found in patients with proteinuria < 0.5 g/24 h (-0.62±7.4 (HP) vs. 3.4±11.1 (P) mL/min/1.73m2/year). Multivariate analysis reported that presence of haematuria was significantly and independently associated with eGFR deterioration after adjusting for traditional risk factors, including age, serum phosphate, mean proteinuria and mean serum PTH (β=-4.316, p=0.025).
The presence of haematuria is closely associated with a faster decrease in renal function in advanced proteinuric CKD patients, especially in younger CKD patients with high proteinuria levels; therefore this high risk subgroup of patients would benefit of intensive medical surveillance and treatment.
PLoS ONE 05/2015; 10(5):e0128575. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0128575 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Haematuria has long been considered to be a benign condition associated with glomerular diseases. However, new evidences suggest that haematuria has a pathogenic role in promoting kidney disease progression. An increased risk for end-stage renal disease has been reported in adolescents and young adults with persistent microscopic haematuria. A persistent impairment of renal function has been also reported following macroscopic haematuria-associated acute kidney injury in immunoglobulin A nephropathy. Haematuria-induced renal damage has been related to oxidant, cytotoxic and inflammatory effects induced by haemoglobin or haem released from red blood cells. The pathophysiological origin of haematuria may be due to a more fragile and easily ruptured glomerular filtration barrier, as reported in several glomerular diseases. In this review we describe a number of the key issues associated with the epidemiology and pathogenesis of haematuria-associated diseases, provide an update of recent knowledge on the role of haematuria on renal function outcome and discuss specific therapeutic approaches in this setting. 1. Glomerular haematuria is a common observation in a number of renal diseases that may lead to persistent renal injury. 2. Haematuria in children differs from that in adults in specific aspects, particularly in the frequency of glomerular diseases and renal disease outcome. 3. Regular follow-up of renal function in children with isolated microhaematuria may be recommended.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Haematuria was known as a benign hallmark of some glomerular diseases, but over the last decade, new evidences pointed its negative implications on kidney disease progression. Cytotoxic effects of oxidative stress induced by hemoglobin, heme, or iron released from red blood cells may account for the tubular injury observed in human biopsy specimens. However, the precise mechanisms responsible for haematuria remain unclear. The presence of red blood cells (RBCs) with irregular contours and shape in the urine indicates RBCs egression from the glomerular capillary into the urinary space. Therefore glomerular haematuria may be a marker of glomerular filtration barrier dysfunction or damage. In this review we describe some key issues regarding epidemiology and pathogenesis of haematuric diseases as well as their renal morphological findings.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The CCN family member 2 (CCN2, also known as connective tissue growth factor) may behave as a risk biomarker and a potential therapeutic target for renal disease. CCN2 participates in the regulation of inflammation and fibrosis. TGF-β is considered the main fibrogenic cytokine; however, in some pathological settings TGF-β also has anti-inflammatory properties. CCN2 has been proposed as a downstream profibrotic mediator of TGF-β, but data on TGF-β role in CCN2 actions are scarce. Our aim was to evaluate the effect of TGF-β blockade in CCN2-mediated experimental renal damage. Systemic administration of the C-terminal module of CCN2 to mice caused sustained renal inflammation. In these mice, TGF-β blockade, using an anti-TGF-β neutralizing antibody, significantly increased renal expression of the NGAL (a kidney injury biomarker), kidney infiltration by monocytes/macrophages, and upregulation of MCP-1 expression. The anti-inflammatory effect of TGF-β seems to be mediated by a dysregulation of the systemic Treg immune response, shown by decreased levels of circulating CD4+/Foxp3+Treg cells. Our experimental data support the idea that TGF-β exerts anti-inflammatory actions in the kidney and suggest that it is not an optimal therapeutic target.
Mediators of Inflammation 05/2015; 2015:1-10. DOI:10.1155/2015/506041 · 3.24 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
Reduced soluble tumor necrosis factor-like weak inducer of apoptosis (sTWEAK) levels have been related with cardiovascular disease. However, there are no data on the relationship between sTWEAK and atherosclerotic burden in subjects with or without cardiovascular risk factors but free from clinical disease. We have analyzed the association between circulating sTWEAK levels and the presence of carotid and/or femoral atherosclerotic plaques in subjects without known vascular disease.
A multicenter, cross-sectional study was conducted in 448 subjects free from clinical CVD. B-mode ultrasound was performed to detect the presence of carotid and/or femoral atherosclerotic plaques. sTWEAK concentrations were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
sTWEAK serum levels were reduced in parallel with an increment in cardiovascular risk factors. sTWEAK concentrations were independently and negatively associated with carotid intima/media thickness. Subjects with atherosclerotic plaques showed a reduction in sTWEAK levels [808 (645-963) vs 993 (830-1278); p < 0.001]. A gradual decrease in sTWEAK levels was observed as the number of atherosclerotic plaques increased in our studied population. When we analyzed sTWEAK levels according to the vascular territory affected, we observed that sTWEAK concentrations were only diminished in subjects with carotid atherosclerotic plaques but not in those with femoral plaques. Following adjustment for various confounders, the OR for presenting carotid atherosclerotic plaque in subjects in lower vs higher tertile of sTWEAK levels was 8.09 [4.30-15.23; median (IQR); p < 0.001].
Diminished sTWEAK concentrations were significantly and independently associated with the presence of carotid atherosclerotic plaques in asymptomatic subjects.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The canonical nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) pathway mediated by the inhibitor of NF-κB kinase (IKK) regulates the transcription of inflammatory genes involved in the pathogenesis of diabetes, from the early phase to progression and final complications. The NF-κB essential modulator binding domain (NBD) contained in IKKα/β is essential for IKK complex assembly. We therefore investigated the functional consequences of targeting the IKK-dependent NF-κB pathway in the progression of diabetes-associated nephropathy and atherosclerosis.
Apolipoprotein E-deficient mice with diabetes induced by streptozotocin were treated with a cell-permeable peptide derived from the IKKα/β NBD region. Kidneys and aorta were analysed for morphology, leucocyte infiltrate, collagen, NF-κB activity and gene expression. In vitro studies were performed in renal and vascular cells.
NBD peptide administration did not affect the metabolic severity of diabetes but resulted in renal protection, as evidenced by dose-dependent decreases in albuminuria, renal lesions (mesangial expansion, leucocyte infiltration and fibrosis), intranuclear NF-κB activity and proinflammatory and pro-fibrotic gene expression. Furthermore, peptide treatment limited atheroma plaque formation in diabetic mice by decreasing the content of lipids, leucocytes and cytokines and increasing plaque stability markers. This nephroprotective and anti-atherosclerotic effect was accompanied by a decline in systemic T helper 1 cytokines. In vitro, NBD peptide prevented IKK assembly/activation, p65 nuclear translocation, NF-κB-regulated gene expression and cell proliferation induced by either high glucose or inflammatory stimulation.
Peptide-based inhibition of IKK complex formation attenuates NF-κB activation, suppresses inflammation and retards the progression of renal and vascular injury in diabetic mice, thus providing a feasible approach against diabetes inflammatory complications.